Thursday, August 1, 2013

10 things we Believe in

Belief is the next best thing to fear.  Belief is only partially rational and it's normally based on the outcome of a very limited sample.  Some things we believe so much that it is very much impossible to get them dislodged from our heads even though we've seen hard facts to the contrary.

10.  The value of money - There was a time when our paper money was based on GOLD.  We called it the gold standard.  The Gold standard has some problems and some benefits.  One of the problems according to our Government was that they couldn't spend more money than they actually had.  So they got rid of the Gold standard.  Where does that leave the value of our money?  Well, it's value is our belief.  In fact, it's the world's belief.  The fact is, our dollar is only based on the whole world believing that it has value, nothing else.

9.  That herbs are better for us than drugs because they are 'NATURAL'  - A lot of us believe somehow that the drugs we are prescribed are effective, but when we see all of the natural remedies we can't help but think they will be effective.  Here is the danger.  The drugs are controlled in their content.  Every pill must behave within a specific range of effectiveness.  Herbs have much fewer controls.  Remember Hemlock and Poison Ivy are natural herbs.

8.  We know what we saw - This one may be the hardest one to swallow.  We rarely if ever witness things as they happened.  Instead our mind helps us build our memory of what happened to the point that it may not resemble the actual event in question at all.  We have an easier time thinking this about other people we know than ourselves.  Phrases like 'seeing is believing' make us believe that what we see is a very good indicator of what is happening.  We are horribly wrong.  How do we know?  Because there are magicians everywhere and they all fool us based on what we know we see.

7.  Santa Clause - An enduring lie we tend to tell our children.  It seems we along with TV and the retailers enjoy perpetuating this falsehood and we as children enjoy believing it.  Well, as I recall, we don't actually believe it until we are told about it.  Then for a while we just assume that it's true.  Then later on we are let in on the big conspiracy but we are told not to let the other kids in on it.  Why?  Who knows.

6.  Some kind of Afterlife - This is real belief.  This one goes deep and it has a lot to do with our sense of self realization.  Once we consider the fact that we are who we are, we can't really think of life without us.  Once we have that bit of thought in our heads, we start considering what actually happens once we die.  This is a subject that few people want to look at with objective eyes.  Instead they wish to look at it with faith.  The difference between belief and faith is the difference between thinking a number will hit on a roulette wheel and actually having money on that number.  There are many different faiths on this world and even atheists can only say they believe there is nothing after this life because you just can't prove it or any other negative.

5.  Science - We believe a lot of things about science.  In fact we believe in science so much that we do things that we can't exactly prove but observe as a repeatable event.  Quantum physics is largely a theoretical science.  This means we just think we know how it works and we devise little tests to see if it's behavior is similar to our theories.  We actually use many things in our everyday life that work based on quantum theories.  Lasers and TV's use the quantum world and we just assume that it will continue to work.  Is science always worth believing in?  In the long run perhaps.  On the other hand, I still see no flying cars.

4.  Our pets understand us - We get pets and we talk to them.  why?  because we don't growl or sniff peoples butts (with any luck).  We talk.  So we talk to our pets.  Do our pets understand us?  no. probably not.  They may understand bits and pieces but for the most part, animals understand actions.  When we talk to them they understand we are regarding them.  When we pet them they understand the contact.  They understand us on the levels that we need to be understood.  We on the other hand ascribe attitudes and emotions to animals that they may not even be capable of.  On the other hand, maybe they do.  who knows?

3.  We know famous people - When we watch tv or read the check out tabloid headlines.  Invariably we are confronted with the actions of famous people.  Many of us will devour these stories and begin to put together a notion about that famous person and decide that we actually know them.  We forget that often a famous person is put up to their behaviors by the very tabloids and entertainment programs that report on them.  They create a public persona that compliments their private one.  Often stars will be caught doing something that will define them to the public for the rest of their careers.  Are they the sum of that single behavior?  I don't know.  Are any of us?

2.  All Medical professionals are good - Especially Doctors. - When we go to the doctor, we look on their wall and they will have a diploma.  That's good enough for us.  We don't ask for grade transcripts we don't ask where they placed in their class.  The old joke is  Q: "What do you call a medical student that is just barely passing?"  A: "Doctor"

1.  That we are Lucky/Unlucky -  I've fallen prey to this bit of belief.  I tend to believe that I'm not lucky.  The funny thing is, when I look at my life, I'm not lucky at what I want to be lucky at, but I'm very lucky in my life.  Many things have worked out against any specific odds.  I really do believe that luck is how we feel about a progression of events.  But when you are in the middle of a streak of bad events, it's hard not to ascribe some kind of supernatural power to it.  When things are really good sometimes we will do the same thing.

I've probably repeated myself on this particular entry, but I am running on empty here.  I'm really a much more shallow person than all this.

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